Holidays spell big trouble for recovering addicts: Depression and suicide rates increase

CLEVELAND - The number of heroin overdoses is skyrocketing in our state. Unfortunately, things are only expected to get worse during the holidays.

Only on News 5, we sat down with one family who knows just how tricky this time of year can be for addicts.

Being that it's her favorite holiday, 25-year-old Ariele Trombler has always looked forward to all the Christmas festivities.

“Holidays have been a joyous time, I love spending it with my family," she said.

But trouble lurks just behind that colorful Christmas tree.

"Depression can get high, suicide rates this time of year are a lot higher,” said Judi Sparano, Program Director, The Edna House. “When you see everyone else celebrating, and happy and you know on the inside that you're just dying."

Trombler has been going in and out of treatment and detox centers for the past five years and her parents can relate to the emotional roller coaster families go through, especially this time of year.

“There's always a concern, you're trying to prepare and have the holiday feeling, so when the past, when there's that underlying issue, it's it's tough," said Crystal Trombler, Ariele's Mom.

Her dad, Laz Tromler, echoed her mom’s thoughts, “it's been very difficult and it's been a long process honestly within myself to learn to find the strength to not enable her addiction anymore."

That's why the experts are on high alert.

"We're losing people, left and right," said Sparano.

A once little girl, full of joy, Trombler’s teenage years took her down a dark path of alcohol, marijuana and eventually pills and opioids.

“That's where my life got completely unmanageable," she said.

Her rock bottom, came a few months ago when her grandmother called the police on her for carrying around drugs, a move that landed her in jail with three felony charges.

“I feel like there's been several bottoms, but my absolute rock bottom was this last time... that's just probably one of the worst things that could've possibly happened to me," she expressed.

She's now been in recovery at The Edna house for two months, and plans to steer clear of any temptation this Christmas... focusing her energy on her recovery and her almost one-year-old son.

“I don't think I've really been ready for it until now. This year will be really good, I just kind of finally feel like I'm blossoming into the person I'm supposed to be," she said.

Holding back tears, her mom says, she’s already starting to see a difference in her daughter.

“I'm very hopeful," she said.

It's that hope, advocates like Judi Sparano say makes a world of difference.

"If only one person recovers, then that one person is worth it."

Ariele still has four months left in her treatment program here at the Edna House. If she completes it, all of her felony charges with be dropped.

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